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posted on 30 October 2015 Weekly Wrap-Up 30 October 2015

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U.S. stocks lower at close of trade; Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.52%

U.S. stocks were lower after the close on Friday, as losses in theFinancials, Technology and Consumer Goods sectors led shares lower.

At the close in NYSE, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.52%, while the S&P 500index lost 0.48%, and the NASDAQ Composite index lost 0.40%.

The best performers of the session on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were CaterpillarInc (N:CAT), which rose 1.42% or 1.02 points to trade at 72.99 at the close. Meanwhile,Chevron Corporation (N:CVX) added 1.10% or 0.99 points to end at 90.88 and Verizon Communications Inc (N:VZ) was up 1.03% or 0.48 points to 46.88 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Pfizer Inc (N:PFE), which fell 2.73% or 0.95 points to trade at 33.82 at the close. UnitedHealth Group Incorporated (N:UNH) declined 1.61% or 1.93 points to end at 117.78 and JPMorgan Chase & Co (N:JPM) was down 1.47% or 0.96 points to 64.25.

The top performers on the S&P 500 were First Solar Inc (O:FSLR) which rose 11.92% to 57.07, AbbVie Inc (N:ABBV) which was up 10.07% to settle at 59.550 and Expedia Inc (O:EXPE) which gained 7.27% to close at 136.30.

The worst performers were Genworth Financial Inc (N:GNW) which was down 10.34% to 4.68 in late trade, KeyCorp (N:KEY) which lost 7.17% to settle at 12.42 and Mallinckrodt(N:MNK) which was down 6.17% to 65.67 at the close.

The top performers on the NASDAQ Composite were VirtualScopics Inc (O:VSCP) which rose 150.00% to 4.500, Fluidigm Corporation (O:FLDM) which was up 46.48% to settle at 10.81 and Cray Inc (O:CRAY) which gained 33.29% to close at 29.63.

The worst performers were Fairway Group Holdings Corp (O:FWM) which was down 36.26% to 1.16 in late trade, Control4 Co (O:CTRL) which lost 26.85% to settle at 6.54 andMoko Social (O:MOKO) which was down 23.98% to 1.49 at the close.

Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the New York Stock Exchange by 1268 to 1256 and 3 ended unchanged; on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, 1540 fell and 1009 advanced, while 54 ended unchanged.

Shares in Expedia Inc (O:EXPE) rose to all time highs; rising 7.27% or 9.24 to 136.30. Shares in VirtualScopics Inc (O:VSCP) rose to 52-week highs; rising 150.00% or 2.700 to 4.500. Shares in Control4 Co (O:CTRL) fell to all time lows; losing 26.85% or 2.40 to 6.54. Shares in Moko Social (O:MOKO) fell to 52-week lows; losing 23.98% or 0.47 to 1.49.

The CBOE Volatility Index, which measures the implied volatility of S&P 500 options, was up 3.29% to 15.09.

Additional stock news from Reuters at


The dollar extended lossed against the other major currencies on Friday, as the release of downbeat U.S. economic reports fuelled concerns over the strength of the economy.

The dollar was lower against the yen, with USD/JPY down 0.58% at 120.42.

The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index fell to 90.0 this month from 92.1 in September, compared to expectations for a rise to 92.5.

In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending rose 0.1% last month, disappointing expectations for a 0.2% rise and after a 0.4% increase in August.

The data added to concerns over the strength of the economy after the Commerce Department said on Thursday that U.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.5% in the three months to September, missing expectations for growth of 1.6%.

Also Friday, data showed that the Chicago purchasing managers' index rose to 56.2 in October from 48.7 the previous month, beating expectations for an increase to 49.0.

Another report showed that U.S. employment costs rose 0.6% in September, in line with expectations.

The greenback had strengthened broadly after Wednesday's Federal Reserve statementsaid that officials might make a decision to raise interest rates at their December meeting.

Meanwhile, the yen remained supported after the Bank of Japan refrained from adding additional monetary easing measures at its monthly policy meeting on Friday.

EUR/USD advanced 0.84% to trade at 1.1070.

Eurostat, the statistical body of the European Union, reported on Friday that the annual rate of inflation in the euro zone was flat in September, compared to expectations for a 0.1% uptick.

Euro zone inflation fell 0.1% in August. It was the first time in six months that the region saw declining inflation.

Data also showed that the single currency bloc's unemployment rate slipped to 10.8% last month from a revised rate of 10.9% in August. Analysts had expected the unemployment rate to remain at 11.0% in September.

Elsewhere, the dollar pushed lower against the pound and the Swiss franc, with GBP/USDup 0.73% at 1.5421 and with USD/CHF sliding 0.40% to 0.9853.

The Australian and New Zealand dollars extended earlier gains, with AUD/USD up 0.66% at 0.7120 and with NZD/USD rallying 1.02% to 0.6762.

Meanwhile, USD/CAD declined 0.35% to trade at 1.3126 after Statistics Canada reported that the country's GDP rose 0.1% in August, in line with expectations and down from a 0.3% growth rate the previous month.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.71% at 96.67, pulling away from Wednesday's two-and-a-half month highs of 97.89.

CTFC Commitment of Traders

Speculators this week were were more bearish on the euro and the yen. Note: End of week positions are not included in this report and Thursday and Friday saw some changes.


Gold (Thursday Report)

Gold prices edged higher in European morning hours on Friday, helped by a softer U.S. dollar, but the precious metal remained close to a three-week low amid fresh indications the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates before the end of the year.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery were up 0.17% at $1,149.40.

The December contract ended Thursday's session 2.45% lower at $1,147.30 an ounce.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,138.70, the low from October 8 and resistance at $1,162.00, Thursday's high.

The dollar came under pressure after the Commerce Department reported on Thursday thatU.S. gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 1.5% in the three months to September, missing expectations for growth of 1.6%.

In addition, the U.S. National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales indexdropped 2.3% last month, disappointing expectations for a gain of 1.0%.

The greenback had strengthened broadly after Wednesday's Federal Reserve statementsaid that officials might make a decision to raise interest rates at their December meeting.

Expectations of higher borrowing rates is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

Market participants were now looking ahead to reports on employment costs and U.S. personal spending due later in the day, for further indications on the strength of the economy.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for December delivery gained 0.58% to $15.640 a troy ounce, while copper futures for December delivery advanced 0.44% to $2.331 a pound.


Brent crude held close to $49 a barrel on Friday, poised to post the first weekly gain in three weeks despite a supply glut that has tested storage capacity and hammered oil company results.

The potential gain, driven by smaller-than-expected builds in U.S. oil stocks, was widely viewed as a temporary boost in a market that is awash with oil and staring down sluggish economic growth in key markets such as the United States and China.

Brent crude was trading 35 cents higher at $49.15 a barrel at 0820 ET, set for a more than 2 percent weekly rise.

U.S. crude was trading 15 cents higher at $46.21 a barrel, on track to post a gain of nearly 4 percent on the week.

"Looking at the bigger picture, there is still lots of oil in the United States," PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga said. "We should see a softer market in the coming days."

Traders said a 3.4 million barrel crude build reported by the U.S. Energy Information Administration provided the primary support for the weekly increase. [EIA/S]

The build fell short of some analysts' expectations and sparked a nearly $3 rally in U.S. crude.

A Reuters survey showed October OPEC oil output falling from the previous month, as declines from Saudi Arabia and Iraq outweighed increases from African members.

Also, China's Ministry of Commerce announced a doubling in the country's crude oil import quota for 2016.

But OPEC production remained close to record highs as major producers focus on defending market share, and widespread concerns persisted over China's shaky economic growth.

Bearish data from the United States also tempered gains. U.S. economic growth braked sharply in the third quarter as businesses cut back on restocking warehouses to work off an inventory glut.

Analysts said prices were effectively flat.

"We are treading water," said Gareth Lewis-Davies, director of energy commodity strategy at BNP Paribas (PA:BNPP). "Prices are trading in a very narrow range."

China's closely watched Purchasing Manager Indexes (PMIs), which will be released next week, could give more direction.

Lewis-Davies also said the sharp cuts in oil company spending, and the pain of U.S. shale oil producers, could spark a more balanced market in 2016:

"These price levels are sufficiently low enough to cut into the cost curve of U.S. shale oil producers."

Natural Gas (Thursday Report)

Natural gas futures pushed higher to move further away from the lowest level in more than three years on Thursday after data showed natural gas supplies rose less than expected last week.

Natural gas for delivery in December on the New York Mercantile Exchange soared 7.1 cents, or 3.07%, to trade at $2.369 per million British thermal units during U.S. morning hours. Prices were at around $2.347 prior to the release of the supply data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that natural gas storage in the U.S. in the week ended October 23 rose by 63 billion cubic feet, below expectations for an increase of 69 billion.

That compared with builds of 81 billion cubic feet in the prior week, 87 billion cubic feet in the same week last year, while the five-year average change for the week is an increase of 81 billion cubic feet.

Total U.S. natural gas storage stood at 3.877 trillion cubic feet. Stocks were 409 billion cubic feet higher than last year at this time and 153 billion cubic feet above the five-year average of 3.724 trillion cubic feet for this time of year.

Stockpiles are set to reach a record by the end of this month. The EIA sees storage levels peaking at 3.956 trillion in November, which would top the November 2012 high of 3.929 trillion.

A day earlier, natural gas prices lost 6.3 cents, or 2.67%, after updated forecasting models showed that unseasonably warm readings will persist in much of the country through November 6, dampening demand expectations for the fuel.

Bearish speculators are betting on the warm weather reducing early-winter demand for the heating fuel.

Natural gas prices have closely tracked weather forecasts in recent weeks, as traders try to gauge the impact of shifting outlooks on early-winter heating demand.

The heating season from November through March is the peak demand period for U.S. gas consumption.

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